EMERALD FARM TOURS
A little over a year ago, a creative individual, with 16 years experience in both cannabis policy reform and industry operations and marketing, launched an innovative project to help strengthen the regulated cannabis industry, to paint the plant in a positive light, and to encourage everyone involved in the industry to continue powering forward. He named his project, Emerald Farm Tours.
WHO IS VICTOR PINHO AND WHAT IS EMERALD FARM TOURS ALL ABOUT?
Victor Pinho, Marketing Director for over three years at Berkeley Patients Group, and the first person to be appointed as the California Director of the Cannabis Marketing Association, a position that he currently maintains, is the brains behind the unique experience that is Emerald Farm Tours. Should you get the opportunity to meet Victor, you’re bound to be enthused by his positive and seemingly endless energy, and there’s little doubt that a great deal of Emerald Farm Tours’ success over the past 12 months can be attributed to Victor, his love for the cannabis plant, and his cross-industry experience in both marketing and cannabis policy reform. But, what is Emerald Farm Tours all about?
Well, if you’re interested in learning about California’s regulated cannabis scene, discovering the many steps involved in the seed to sale process, or if you like the idea of exploring San Francisco city highlights in a cannabis-friendly limousine, in which you can smoke, dab, vape, and consume Mary Jane to your heart’s content, then it’s time to give Victor and his four-man team a call.
CHOOSE YOUR TOUR
At present, Emerald Farm Tours offers two standard excursions in California: a seed to sale tour, which tends to drum up interest in the B2B community, and a San Francisco City Tour, which has naturally evolved into an interesting proposal for the B2C market. On top of that, custom tours and 420-friendly services can be requested, including limo rentals, company transport, party transport, and excursions, events, and activations that cater to both B2B and B2C clients. Essentially, when it comes to custom 420-friendly requests, Emerald Farm Tours can set you up with whatever rolls your joint.
Travel addicts will also be interested to know that the team has started offering 420-friendly tours and excursions in Portugal. Links with the cannabis scene in Europe is something that Victor is particularly excited about and one that he believes will help facilitate real development in the regulated U.S. industry, benefiting everyone concerned in a number of ways: growers, manufacturers, brand managers, consumers, you name it.
PUTTING GUESTS AND THEIR EXPERIENCES FIRST
All tours run with up to 10 guests at a time. Intimate groups of 10 or less means that all questions get answered and each guest’s needs are properly addressed. Victor and his team are determined to make sure that anyone who signs up for one of their tours leaves feeling empowered and educated, whether they’re already familiar with the cannabis plant or not.
TIME TO MEET, FATTY JAY
But Emerald Farm Tours isn’t a one-man band. Fatty Jay, aka Jay Hartman, is the company’s tour director and works side by side with Victor Pinho to co-host the tours on offer. With over 10 years experience in cannabis cultivation, Fatty Jay is a walking cannabis encyclopedia. The dynamic Pinho-Hartman partnership is what makes Emerald Farm Tours so unique. It’s the duo that has the experience and knowledge to offer the freshest and most relevant content that educates and enlightens.
LET’S TALK DEMOGRAPHICS
At Cannaverse Solutions, we were particularly interested in the demographics of those who sign up to the tours. Over the past 12 months, patterns in consumer behavior have emerged. The first is political. As soon as a new cannabis bill passes, or is about to pass, in a specific U.S. state, interest in the tours offered by Emerald Farm Tours increases. Extra web traffic and a marked increase in the number of inbound calls from the state in question are two patterns that occur regularly, particularly for the B2B seed to sale tour.
As an example. during November and December 2018 there was a clear increase of interest in the tours from folks based in Michigan. Victor believes that most people sign up to the seed to sale tour as a way of learning about how the industry works, using California as a kind of benchmark. “The seed to sale tour is a training experience for them in the regulated market”, he notes. It provides visitors with the perfect opportunity to make direct contact with key industry figures and forge alliances that could strengthen future business ventures across the country.
And then there’s the locals… Californians have shown real enthusiasm for the B2C San Francisco City Tour. Many sign up to the tour with friends and family who are visiting from out of state. The tour gives locals the chance to show off all the major tourist sites in San Francisco, while enjoying the added benefits of cannabis along the way. It’s provides the perfect opportunity to discover what the regulated cannabis market has to offer and to try a range of regulated products. It’s a lot of fun.
A FEW CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY
As with any business, Emerald Farm Tours has had to deal with its fair share of challenges. For Victor, the most challenging aspect of launching Emerald Farm Tours has been learning how to solve problems for the first time; problems that no-one else has ever had to resolve because the industry is so very new. “Not having other companies to bounce off of or to use as a reference has been tough at times,” Victor explains. In fact, the first 12 months, it seems, has been all about trial and error, but the efforts have certainly paid off.
A second challenge has been how to deal with stigma. Even in California, one of the most liberal and forward-thinking states in the U.S., Victor has found that some people are still reluctant to work with a company that uses the word “cannabis” in its logo, its name, or its design. Integrating the cannabis plant into the local business community isn’t a done deal just because the state has legalized it. Individual opinion, prejudice, and misinformation remains, which means it’s still sometimes difficult to convince contacts in other industries that working with a cannabis-related business is a good idea.
SO, WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR EMERALD FARM TOURS?
“Staying ahead of the curve is what we need to do in the cannabis space,” Victor explains with enthusiasm. “We want to keep it fresh and lucrative”. You only have to listen to him for a few minutes to realize that the overarching mission he’s set for Emerald Farm Tours is to help everyone involved in the cannabis industry, including the cannabis consumer, to grow, learn, and enjoy.
Emerald Farm Tours is a vehicle for cannabis advocacy and advancement, poised to lead cannabis into the future and into an environment in which the plant is loved, respected, and cared for. So, watch this space for the next cool idea, the next awesome tour, the next cannabis consumer. Emerald Farm Tours is on the move.
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